Colombo-Vavuniya express train service suspended

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 09 July 2003, 05:17 GMT]
Intercity express train service between Vavuniya and Colombo is to be suspended from July 14 said Commissioner of Sri Lanka Department of Railways in a notice sent to the Railway station officials in Vavuniya, according to transportation sources.

Although the express train was advertised to take only 4 hours in one direction passengers said the train which starts from Vavuniya at 5.45am reaches takes nearly six hours to reach Colombo. Similarly although the scheduled time start time for the Colomb0-Vavuniya leg is 3.55pm, the train is usually 30 minutes late and reaches Vavuniya between 11 pm and midnight.

Railway authorities cite losses incurred by the service were the reason for the suspension of service. However, sources close to the operation say that increase of fares from Rs200 to Rs270 and the excessive delays in running the service were the main reasons for the lack of required passenger volume to run a profitable service.

Passengers said that if the train consistently completes the journey in 4 hours and departs the stations regularly at scheduled times there will be definite increase in the number of passengers who are likely to use the service,

Vanni district Parliamentarian N. Sivasakthi Anandan and United National Party official Mahes Thavachelvam have appealed to the Sri Lanka Government not to suspenc the train service.


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